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Screams on screen: Us (2019)

Written by Film

Even though Halloween is long gone, it does not mean we can’t continue watching horror films, right? The latest Jordan Peele project immediately caught my eye when it came out. After his Oscar-winning film Get Out, I had high expectations for this show.

Us follows the Wilson family on vacation where the mother, played by Lupita Nyong’o, starts noticing weird coincidences, leading her to believe that something is about to happen. Just as the ominous feeling intensifies, the family comes face to face with their doubles, the Tethered, which start terrorising them.

Peele once again avoids Black American stereotypes that are in most movies. He consciously depicts the Wilsons as an average, financially successful American family.  Throughout the movie, he catches our eye through his detail and cinematography.

Peele also subtly sneaks in a few metaphors throughout the film (who doesn’t love that, right?). One of the metaphors Peele mentioned was about “us”. He stated in an interview with the Guardian: “We are our own worst enemy, not just as individuals but more importantly as a group, as a family, as a society, as a country, as a world… what we’re really afraid of is the thing we’re suppressing: our sin, our guilt, our contribution to our own demise … No one’s taking responsibility for where we’re at. Owning up, blaming ourselves for our part in the problems of the world is something I’m not seeing.”

One of the parts that struck me was the parallelism drawn with Hands Across America. This was a charity event in 1986 that saw 6.5million people forming a human chain by holding hands across America. Peele had stated in an interview that “There’s like an insistence that as long as we have each other, we can walk blindly past the ugliness and evil that we may be a part of.”

Recently, horror films have been getting more and more predictable (for me at least) with most of them slowly losing their originality. However, Peele was able to surprise me in this film. While it might make you squeal (and maybe scream), it is definitely worth watching.

Last modified: 26th November 2019

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